RealNews

Colombians Demand Abducted Kids Be Freed

Hundreds of people marched Sunday to demand the release of more than 60 children kidnapped in Colombia over the years, many abducted by right-wing paramilitaries or leftist rebels seeking ransoms. Among the nearly 1,000 marchers was Vice President Francisco Santos, who was abducted by the cocaine cartel of late drug lord Pablo Escobar in 1990 and held for eight months. “People who kidnap children have lost their humanity,” Santos said. More than 60 children are being held hostage in Colombia and some have been held for years, said Juan Francisco Mesa, director of the anti-kidnapping foundation Free Country. Some of the victims are forced into prostitution. Others have been caught up in Colombia’s nearly four decade civil war that pits government troops against leftist rebels and right wing paramilitary groups. Rebels have kidnapped hundreds of people in recent years for ransom money to finance their fight. The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has abducted seven children this year and is demanding money for all of them, said Mesa. Six of the 11 children kidnapped this year by the National Liberation Army, Colombia’s smaller rebel group known as the ELN, were later freed by soldiers. Full Story

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